FIR Podcast #62: A Real Episode About Fake News

For Immediate Release

Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network

First-time panelist Liz Scherer joined Howard Greenstein and David Spark for a deep dive into fake news.

  • “Post-truth” was the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year. (One of the finalists was “alt-right.”)
  • Fake news is more viral than real news.
  • Fake news is coming for companies; in fact, PepsiCo and its CEO, Indra Nooyi, are experiencing it right now.
  • Does the rise of fake news and the balkanization of news mean the end of mass persuasion for PR?
  • What is Facebook’s role and responsibility in addressing fake news that spreads on its site?
  • Mark Zuckerburg says he wants to banish… Read More »

Friday Wrap #193: Fake news hits business, Facebook’s muddled metrics, a new kind of crisis

Friday Wrap #193I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing


PepsiCo has become the face of a cautionary tale—Speaking at a conference, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi noted that her employees were upset about the election of Donald Trump. “The question they are asking,” she said, “especially those who are not white, ‘Are we safe?’ Women are asking, ‘Are we safe?’ LGBT people are asking, ‘Are we safe?’” The response from Trump supporters was swift, many condemning her on social media (mainly Twitter) and calling for a boycott of Pepsi… Read More »

PR needs to be ready for fake news targeting companies

Fake News is Coming to Companies

Allergan’s Botox will soon be available for dog and cat cosmetic treatments!
GE discourages Muslim children from pursuing STEM education!
Engineer due to testify in case against Bechtel found shot to death!
Walmart sells Chinese-made toy that kills 100s of children!
CVS importing fake drugs from Syria!

None of these stories, of course, are true, nor have they appeared anywhere. I made them up. But that doesn’t mean these stories and others like them—stories that could influence perceptions of your company and affect its sales—couldn’t appear on some obscure site you’ve never heard of and spread like wildfire through social media.

Read More »

Friday Wrap #192: Election connections, Messenger milestone, emoji URLs, fake news, PR in B2B

Friday Wrap #192I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing.


Lessons for marketers from the presidential elections forecast inaccuracies—Virtually all the polls, including those from highly-respected data experts, were confident of a Clinton victory. The fact that they got it so wrong should give marketers pause about the approach they take to the data analysis that has become so integral a part of their work. The lesson: Access to data doesn’t matter much if you don’t analyze it correctly. The big mistake in the election… Read More »

AI will be a crucial part of PR, but the industry is nowhere near ready

Artificial Intelligence and PRChristopher Penn attended World of Watson last month, a conference named for IBM’s question answering (QA) computing system that brought 20,000 people together to learn and share about data and artificial intelligence and how they can transform businesses and industries.

It’s no surprise that Chris, SHIFT Communications’ vice president of Marketing Technology, bought a ticket for the show; Chris is a data geek. What is surprising is that, as far as he could tell, he was the only attendee from a public relations firm.

One non-IBM communicator. Out of 20,000.

Truthfully, it’s no so much surprising as it is unsurprisingly disheartening.… Read More »

FIR Podcast #60: One Day More

For Immediate Release

Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network

On the eve of the election, Deirdre Breakenridge, Irene Koehler and Donna Papacosta joined the FIR panel to talk about the election’s impact on PR, marketing, and social media, along with a number of other topics. Here’s the rundown…

  • Brands can prepare themselves for future assaults based on how political campaigns have engaged in an epic bot war to game online polls and inflate social media traffic.
  • Candidates used some channels many brands have ignored in their effort to reach Millennials and GenZ.
  • Social media itself is going through some convulsions based on this unique election… Read More »

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